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Caldwell Looks for Positive Finish

28 April 2017

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Manager Gary Caldwell has stated that his team will give look to end the season on a positive note when they make the short trip to Sheffield United on Sunday (12noon).

The Spireites will be looking to ruin the Blades' promotion party in what is the final game of the season and the Scot spoke of the positives that he has seen in training this week. 

“It is our job to first of all pay them the respects that they are due as champions,” Caldwell said. “Then, during the 90 minutes, we want to give them as tough a game as they have had all season and we want to ask questions of them on a day when they will want to go out and enjoy themselves.

“I am sure all of their families will be at the game, but we have got to go out and make it really difficult for them and show this league for what it is. 

“This is a really competitive league and no matter what position you are in - top or bottom - every game is difficult and we have worked hard this week in preparation to go and do that.”

Caldwell brushed away suggestions that his side has nothing to play for, stating that the players will go out and do everything in their power to cause an upset. 

He added: “We are playing for pride first and foremost - going into what will be a difficult game - and that is an important thing in football. It is the minimum that you should be playing for every week. 

“If we can give the fans something, and give them something over their local rivals, at the end of what has been a disappointing season, then it may be a small glimmer of hope moving forward.”

Caldwell praised his opposite number, Chris Wilder, for his side’s impressive title-winning season, saying that he is a manager he admires. “I think that in recent years he has done a fantastic job wherever he is and I respect him a lot as a manager. He went to a big club who had failed five seasons in a row to get promotion when they were the big team in League One who had the biggest budget. 

“He has shown how good a manager he is by going there and getting the job done at the first attempt and I think that being a Sheffield lad and a Sheffield supporter has helped him.”

The manager spoke of the impending changes as he begins to build a squad and highlighted the impact the club’s recruitment plans.

“We will make good decisions for the football club on both a football front and a financial front," said Caldwell. "The good thing now is that I have put in place a recruitment system so that the team that can replace departing players with quality. 

“This is as opposed to players leaving the club and nothing coming in behind them. We will now have players coming in who can replace them so that the club can function and move on from it. Football is a rollercoaster and you have to stay strong to your principals and you have to believe in yourself. 

“It has been a challenge and I am looking forward to building something next year. I have had the experience of doing it before and I think that it is a big thing that I can lean on. The hard work is now needed to rebuild in the summer and come back stronger. 

“Pre-season is an important time for change because you can affect how you play, you can affect fitness levels and you can affect the whole culture of the football club and that is what we will aim to do."

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